OUR PORTFOLIO SHRUTI

PARTNERING TO PREVENT HEARING LOSS

Shruti is a unique social business initiative that harnesses the power of partners and technology to address the critical need for affordable and accessible treatment. In some parts of the world, many people suffer from chronic ear infections that without care can lead to partial or complete deafness. Shruti addresses the spread of chronic ear infections through awareness, diagnosis, and treatment in underserved patient populations.


PARTNERING TO DIAGNOSE BARRIERS

Shruti partners are a critical element of the program at each step of the treatment process — from product design and community screening, to affordable ear infection treatment. Our sustainable nationwide network of partners, across India and Bangladesh, includes non-government organizations and nonprofits, businesses, public and private medical practices, charitable organizations, and government institutions that bring together tremendous experience in treating ear diseases and serving low-income populations.

How Shruti works:

  • Through partnerships with local organizations, Shruti-trained community health workers organize camps and go door-to-door. A new mobile device allows workers to quickly screen and diagnose patients with chronic ear infections or other ear diseases.
  • The screening devices are built on commonly available cell phone technology and designed for rugged settings — making them portable and durable to heat and dust.
  • An intuitive, user-friendly application interface allows community health workers to collect patient history, take a photograph of the patient’s ear drum, and upload data to an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) for diagnostic assistance.

Since Shruti launched in 2013:

  • 390,000+ patients have been screened for chronic ear infections.
  • 12,000+ patients have received affordable treatment.
  • 97 community health workers have been trained and deployed in the community.
  • 35+ ENT partner sites have enrolled and been trained on the technology and clinical protocols.

WHY FOCUS ON EAR DISEASE?

According to the World Health Organization, as many as 330 million people suffer from chronic ear infections worldwide, which can cause significant hearing loss if not addressed quickly and efficiently. Yet in India, more than 75 percent of these people will permanently lose hearing due to lack of treatment.

Previously, patients with ear infections had to travel far distances and pay large sums to see specialists; now, local health workers diagnose problems and refer patients to a local Shruti partner clinic that provides affordable treatment.